Call ’em “classics,” “female Air Force Ones,” or the now-infamous “54-11’s”, the Reebok Freestyle Hi-Top can be summed up in just one word: iconic. As a teenage girl in uptown NYC, especially, no sneaker was more definitve, and no fashion trend more beloved. And oh, the colors–sky blue, mustard, hot pink, and even the rumored, holy grail shade of chocolate (which I never confirmed really existed) were among the many hues one could stunt in.

The Freestyle, designed as an aerobic exercise shoe, debuted in April 1982 and became popular both for its sleek design and for being one of the first athletic shoes specifically made for women. It celebrated its 25th birthday in 2007 with not only its own site, but also a line of Freestyles inspired by various influences (like artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, below).

Even Paris’s über-hip concept shop Collette teamed up with Reebok and streetwear line Married to the Mob to deliver their own interpretation:

Recently, supermodel Agyness Deyn designed her own group of limited edition Freestyles and there were, of course, those “Reeboks with the straps” immortalized in Flo Rida’s “Get Low” (is there anything more fitting for the ultimate Around the Way Girl shoe?).

Craving some Freestyles now (the 90s are back, after all)? Look no further:

1. Punk Freestyle, $45 2. Neon Blue Freestyle, $65 3. Pink and Gold Freestyle, $63 4. Hi Evol Musi Freestyle, $70 5. Snowflake Freestyle, $60
What are some of your Freestyle memories? Favorite colors?

18 thoughts on “Throwback: Reebok Freestyle Hi-Tops”

  1. When I was growing up in Bed-Stuy in the early-mid 90’s the royal blue ones where the color to have. These would ideally be paired with a full denim suit (jacket and jeans) with a prominent Guess triangle on the back pocket.

    Unfortunately my parents doing they best they could were only able to get me a lilac pair of 54-11’s which were not very flattering on an 9-year-old with size 10 feet. I was still happy to have them though.

  2. So very on point…I just bought a pair of black Reebox Freestyle Hi-tops with patent leather on the straps. Luvs them!!!

  3. Great Post A.
    Loved 54-11’s. They represented the essence of cool. My very first pair were a pair of Black Suede ones when I was in the 6th grade.

  4. Girllllllllll I had every color of 54.11s I was obsessed with them! I was so young when they first came out but I remember throwing a fit if i went in the store and saw a color i didn’t have! and I did have a pair of Chocolate ones!!!!

    I gotta dig threw some pics and see if i have one of the shoes!

    I’m 24 now and I think I may have to start my collection again!

  5. you know the only issue I had was trying to match them to the Champions tee’s and sweatshirts…remember those?? they were always kind of off, the brands should have coordinated! lol. I almost joined the throwback crew last year and copped some light pink ones, but I looked about 12…not a good look. Officially had to let them go…but this is a great post A!!For the record my fav color was orange…oh yeah and aqua.

  6. awwww mannn… being from d.c.-area… these were “in-style” long after they were out in many of the other major cities…. oh the memories… lol!!!

    thestylechild @

  7. I still wear my Sky Blue 54-11…when I was little i wore the blk n white patent leather ones….They are sooo comfy!

  8. I didn’t wear them when they 1st came out but always stole my older cousin’s. When I had a throwback 25th bday party I had to get them !!!I have 2 pairs.. one is bright purple and the other has a birthday candle design! LUV’ EM!

  9. i’m another one from the dc area, where those were in style way too long after they were out….. women esp gravitated to the low top ones called ‘princess reeboks’ i can’t even look at them anymore.. this post hurts LOL!

  10. guys… i’m another fan of these shoes, i’ve always loved
    these sneakers, especially because of the double straps,
    even though i’m a guy, but i really dont care… i wear the
    black ones, and these ones should be unisex =P

  11. Oh yeah! I’m a guy and love Reebok Freestyles! They’re so comfortable and I always wear them with skinny jeans or sweat pants. They’re sexy!!

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